Happy Halloween from The Pumpkin Farm!

It’s rare that I’m publishing anything on a blog right on Halloween, but this year I am!

How fun is that?

And just so you know, I’m not a big Halloween fan although I love kids going trick-or-treating. It’s just crazy fun and my kids loved it. I loved it as a kid, too! Free candy! #BONUS!!!!

But here on the farm Halloween marks the end of the pumpkin sale season.

This farm wagon was a find two years ago and we love it. It’s the perfect focal point for our displays and it “morphs’ as the season matures. It starts out with lots of big stacks of pumpkins, like you see here, but as those sell out, we replace them with smaller stacks… and more big orange or big green or white pumpkins. Like any season, it’s ever-changing and we truly celebrate the season of color that’s so famous here in the Northeast Woodlands. Being so close to Lake Ontario, our leaves stay green longer, giving the feel of a longer and nicer fall season!

Closing the farm stand is always a mixed blessing. We love wrapping things up… Having time for other things for six months, until it’s time to plant, till, plant, spray, water, plant, repeat!

Our theory is this: Sell every pumpkin and squash you can at great prices and people will be happy, they will love you and they’ll come again and again and they will bring friends.

This concept, a wholly different marketing ploy than the USDA recommends, is building us a solid business that benefits the community, our little farm, people outside our community and our family because it is truly a family project. And that family includes friends, too… friends who volunteer their time on weekends to help customers so we can keep prices down.

This Mandy and Lisa and Lisa’s daughter McKenna, all set up for business on an early September day…

It means insight, too… annual growth within a budget because trying to build on credit and interest is a rookie mistake. Few of us are going to turn into Chip and Joanna (Loved their Magnolia Story) and end up with an HGTV contract that goes viral, so trying to invest while living within the budget is the trick. Stuff costs money. And expansion isn’t cheap, but when we’re talking small business, building a base is the beginning, just like building a Lego house. Without a strong platform/base, the blocks will topple in the wind.

I’ve shown you pics of the “results”… the gorgeous pumpkins and displays and so many happy customers. What a treat!

So for a business like this there are both tricks… and treats. And Farmer Dave and I aren’t exactly young. (Well, I feel young, so does that count????) But we’re living a dream that we’ve always wanted to do…

And who knows how much time the Good Lord will give us? Not us, certainly, but there’s an Erma Bombeck quote that I hold close to my heart in family, in writing, in business, in pumpkins:

“I want to stand before God at the end of my days and be able to say I used everything you gave me.”

That’s me.

Talent is given to so many, but taking that talent and mixing it with a strong work ethic is a wonderful thing. And the fact that it’s not a universal trait is what gives some a leg up.

Our beautiful nation was built on hard work. On sacrifice. On sacrificial love. Those elements are part of our platform and our heritage. I want to see them help shape our future.

Tonight I’ll go trick-or-treating with a few cute grandkids… We live on a country road, so generally there are no trick-or-treaters at our house, but the joy in knowing that lots of those pumpkins and displays were part of Blodgett Family Farm and our goal to bring affordable family fun back to the farm is like being part of new family traditions.

And that makes us happy!

AND to add to today’s fun, I collaborated with the amazing Margaret Brownley and Mary Connealy for this beautiful collection releasing in SIX DAYS!!!! “Christmas at Star Inn” is a wonderful anthology of weary travelers who lodge at the iconic “Star Inn” in Heywood, Oregon at the base of Mt. Hood… It’s time to get in the season of faith, hope and love… and the greatest of these is love! I’m giving away an e-copy of this to one happy reader, but let me know you’d like it… when you tell me about your upcoming holidays. Love ’em? Or kind of dread ’em? Or somewhere in the middle??? Let’s talk it out right here. Right now!

 

Our new release!

 

OH! AND WINNER FROM LAST MONTH!!! Do you see where my brain is? It is mush in September and October, and for good reason. Joy Ellis, you are the winner of “The Sewing Sisters Society” novella collection! Let me know if you would like a print or an e-copy and I’ll have my friends at Amazon send that right out to you! Congratulations!

Ruth Logan Herne
Multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne lives on a small farm in Western New York surrounded by grown kids, cute grandkids, cats, dogs, chickens, frogs, toads and snakes. That's why writing Westerns doesn't scare her. Not one smidge. Because she's surrounded by critters of all sorts, and has been known to teach lessons on snakes as available... She started writing Westerns by accident/invitation, and L-O-V-E-D it... matched with her love for both historicals and contemporaries, Ruthy's working on a new Western series for Love Inspired, New England mysteries for Guideposts and her historical Westerns for the indie market in 2018. She loves God, her family, her country and absolutely, positively loves what she does!

36 Comments

  1. Beautifully said!

    Happy Halloween!

  2. Ruthy- you are such a sweet Lady. I hope today is the perfect pumpkin selling day for you and your family. Enjoy those grandkids, what great memories You are giving them. Iโ€™m excited that Iโ€™ll be going back home to Texas to spend Christmas with my family. It will be an exceptional time.
    May God shine all his grace and blessings on us all this holiday season and in 2020!!

    1. Tonya, that’s a Hallmark movie in the making! Christmas in Texas, yee haw!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      And thank you for your kind words. What a blessing you are!

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    I just love your pumpkin farm and what it does for your community. I love Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas but it’s a hard time of year for me since I was 35 because I had to go on disabilty income. That makes it stressful now because all my families birthday’s are bunched up at the end of the year too. So now it’s a love/hate relationship. I love the opportunity to read this book, I love the cover! I hope you have a very Happy Halloween!

    1. Oh, Stephanie, I totally get it, the financial part of Christmas IS stressful. One of my daughters was born Dec. 3, and we have to work hard to keep her birthday from being an afterthought. Or a before-thought. Bless you for wanting to give to your family at this special time.
      Kathy Bailey

      1. Oh, this is a tough side to the holidays, isn’t it? Lack of funds, high expectations, loss of a loved one, divorce, depression…. I’m not being Debbie Downer, it’s just that I understand that while I go around wishing everyone a chirpy Merry Christmas, some folks probably want to punch me. (Not really, but I get it…)

        But the one moment I remember that makes me realize how good life is was when I was hurrying into a hospital because we’d just lost a baby grandchild… and I was crying… and could barely see… and this woman paused me and looked me in the eye and said, “I am so sorry for whatever has gone so wrong for you.”

        A total stranger took the time to notice that I was sad.

        So the downside of holidays is the happy ever after expectation we all would love, but the reality can be different, right? So a few years back I adopted a “Keep a Simple Christmas” mentality… jars of jam and loaves of bread. Everyone over for food. Downsize the gift-giving. Spend time instead of money.

        It was the best decision I ever made.

        Well other than loving God. ๐Ÿ™‚

        That baby born in a manger…. so precious!

  4. I love going to the pumpkin farm. I enjoy the holidays and look forward to them.

    1. Deb, me too! Like any family, we know the sorrowed side of life, but I work to keep Christmas holy… to spend Advent preparing more spiritually and less at Amazon. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s like I came to my senses!!!!

  5. Ruthy, what a beautiful post. Love the pumpkin farm and enjoyed hearing about yours and Dave’s business plan, which doesn’t fit the USDA but Works For You. That’s what we have to do as Writers for Christ…have a solid business plan, but be flexible to what He wants us to do. Also related to your comment about being “old,” I’m 68 and starting out at the bottom of a brand-new profession, it is apparently never too late.
    I love the Thanksgiving-Christmas-NewYear’s arc. It’s bittersweet now because of all the friends and relatives who have gone before me, but makes me hold what I have left all the closer.
    See you in Seekerville,
    Kathy Bailey

    1. Oh, this is all so true, KayBee…. And you know how much I love writing my stories, it’s a total joy for me. How blessed are we to be doing something we love??? YEAH!!!!!

      Those empty chairs around the table. They get us, don’t they? But how blessed to have loved and lost.

      Garth Brooks “The Dance”: “…could have missed the pain, but I would have missed the dance.”

      To me the dance is crucial. It’s what God put me here for.

      Gotta love the dance.

  6. I would love to visit your pumpkin farm every thing looks awesome. I look forward to giving out treats tonight that’s the best part of Halloween. Kind of dreading Thanksgiving and Christmas this year because it will be the first year without my sister. It just want be the same. She passed away in February. I would love to read your new book and looking forward to it.

    1. Oh, Lori… I know how hard that is. It’s a passage that we understand but we’re left yearning. I will pray for you to have a joy-filled holiday season. I know life sends us some turns and twists, doesn’t it? And we shoulder them and move on. We’ve got this, dear lady!

  7. we have lots of plans for the holiday season with family and so far it seems our Thanksgiving day celebration may have expanded by 8-10 additional family members! What a Blessing!

    1. TERESA!

      That rocks! I’m happy dancing for you. 8-10 is no small number. Peel more potatoes and make more gravy. It’s all good!

  8. I, too, have enjoyed seeing your pumpkin farm posts, Ruthie! I’m sure you lived, loved and breathed pumpkins 24 hours a day! Your place looks so shaded and welcoming. Sure wish you lived closer, I’d buy ALL my pumpkins and fall goodies from you!

    I absolutely love that three dear filly friends are sharing an anthology, too. Wishing you many sales and great fun working together.

    Hugs, Ruthie – and enjoy easier days ahead now that pumpkin season is over.

    1. Pam, this is always the bittersweet time…. we love being able to breathe again, but it’s fun seeing how happy the customers are during the season. And of course we couldn’t do it without family jumping in and helping and volunteering.

      It makes all the difference… and we still like each other at the end of the season. WHAT???? ๐Ÿ™‚

      But the plus side is I get more time to write, to think, to research and to plan ahead because (as you know!) my planning skills from May to October are simply non-existent!

  9. I love everything about fall! I would love to visit you. Every occasion we can get together with family is wonderful.

    1. Melanie, I agree! And for us it doesn’t have to be on the holiday or even close to it because everyone is busy and has multiple commitments, so whenever we get together is wonderful! That’s the blessing!

  10. Ruthy, you have so much glow for life it just shines right through you! The pumpkins, squash, corn stalks, wagon, fun crafts just add to the treating season. Kindness to the people in your community is no trick either! Not to mention the delicious cookies and baked goodies! If we ever go to Maine again in the fall, Iโ€™m stopping by the Blodgett Farm to be mesmerized by all this goodness. God bless you and yours. What a fun new book coming up for us to read! Love you authors! So glad I was introduced to Petticoats and Pistols!

    1. Kathy, good to see you! And huge thank yous for your kind words…. what a sweetheart you are!

      I want to go to Maine. I’ve never been there. I’m going to drag FArmer Dave to Maine and out west soon, just to see the things that are different… and smile at them… and visit people we love!

      Well, I love them, Dave doesn’t even really know them, but as long as there’s food involved, he’ll be happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      And this book was a project a few years back that languished in obscurity so we are all glad to have it back in our hands and coming out! Such good stories…. And I am in love with this cover. SIGH….

  11. When I lived back East, I loved visiting the local farms and orchards in the Fall… miss that… Happy Halloween!

    1. Colleen, isn’t it pretty here? Come on back, sweet thing. Plenty of room!

  12. Avatar

    I am much like you. I enjoy watching my granddaughter dress up and get excited about trick-or-treating but I love Fall. Pumpkins, gourds, fodder shocks, colorful leaves…these are my “eye candy”! I also love Thanksgiving. The food, the memories, the thankfulness that is a little stronger on that day. And of course Christmas. Yes, commercialism has changed the true focus but we Christians know the reason!
    Your book looks wonderful be and I would love it!
    Blessings,
    Connie

    1. Connie, I love celebrating fall. It’s so pretty here, and usually we get a spell of really nice weather before The Other Shoe Drops… so the two things combine to make it special. It’s never just another season. It’s… Fall. And it’s beautiful!

  13. Happy Fall Ruthy! I’d love to visit a pumpkin farm.

    1. Caryl, thank you! Back at you… and it is so much fun to run a pumpkin farm! Happy people, happy pumpkins! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. My husband and I are looking forward to our first holidays as almost empty nesters. We have one son still living at home but his work schedule is opposite ours and his weekends are Tuesday and Wednesday. Since he will be working the holidays we want to find little towns that do holidays right….lights, carolers, an old fashioned Christmas. We are going to see A Christmas Carol live in Oak Glen Ca at a Apple farm.

    1. Oh, Vicki, that sounds like fun, a performance at an apple farm! How cool is that???? I hope you love it and your empty nesting is in the gradual phase. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve found that the nest doesn’t necessarily stay empty… and refills with various people on a semi-regular basis. It’s all good!

  15. This is a wonderful post. I love that your family is a part of your dream.
    Yes please put me in for the give a way. I would love to read it.
    I love the holidays. Halloween for me has always been about harvest time. Even now. I love thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter. They all have special places in my heart. I guess you could say that mom made sure of this from the time we were little. And the tradition carries on to our children. Happy Halloween.

    1. Lori, what a beautiful comment! We love the harvest, too… and it ties into the Thanksgiving season and then I feel no guilt about morphing into Christmas decorations outdoors because it’s so much easier to put them up in November than to wrestle Lake Effect snow/winds/blizzards and bitter cold in December. I always feel better when I know the Christmas stuff outdoors is done, just because I know what December in Western NY is like.

      And yes, I love the holiness of these holidays. It’s what makes them special.

  16. I’m SO looking forward to your book, Ruthy! I can’t wait for these holidays! We are going to Texas to our son’s for Christmas so it’s going to be great – grandkids!!!!!

    1. Valri, enjoy those grandbabies! What fun!!!!

  17. I love your Erma Bombeck quote. I loved following her columns, reading her books, and seeing her on TV. Her “tombstone” in the cemetery is a huge boulder people can sit on and contemplate whatever. No name or any identification of who, if anyone, is buried there. I envy you your farm. I grew up in Northern New York – Lake Champlain area – surrounded by apple orchards and dairy farms. It is hard work and those people are dedicated to their farms/orchards. We lived in the country but not on a farm. We did, however spend lots of time “helping” on those farms and in the orchards. I hope on one of our trips back up to visit family, we can stop by and visit Blodgett Family Farm. There are a few such enterprises here in our area of TN and it is a joy to visit them.
    We live in the country and have had only 4 Trick or Treaters in the 27 years we have been here. Three were our grandson three years in a row. I get the candy, turn on the light, and hope, but I end up eating the candy. Our grandson is 21 so no taking him out on his search for candy. I give him a bag instead. I was a children’s librarian for years and miss dressing up and having the children come by the library.
    Your anthology sounds delightful. Anthologies are a favorite, especially this time of the year when things get so busy. With three great authors, CHRISTMAS AT STAR INN will be an enjoyable read. I would love to win a copy of it.
    Enjoy your break from the crazy lead up to Halloween. I am sure there will still be some Fall business, but more of a trickle than a crush.

    1. I love Erma Bombeck. Even as a girl I loved reading her column in the local paper. She was funny and direct and her open honesty was something I clung to. What a great gal!

      And I hear you about the lack of trick-or-treaters. We used to get a few twenty years ago but none now. But I still go out with my daughter’s four kids and we tromped through downpours last night, carrying six umbrellas, to get to a dozen houses. We made memories and it was fun!!!

  18. Congratulations to Joy Ellis from last post. Enjoy.

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